Call for papers "The political and legal philosophy of climate litigation"

CHAIRE HOOVER Louvain-La-Neuve

22 septembre 2022

23 septembre 2022

Online Conference

September 22-23, 2022, Online Conference
Hoover chair in economic and social ethics, UCLouvain


In 2020, the number of climate cases had nearly doubled in three years, with approximately 1 550 cases across 38 countries, among which landmark cases targeting states (Urgenda v. Netherlands) and corporations (Milieudefensie et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell). Although this gave rise to a growing body of legal literature, climate litigation also raises important yet underdeveloped issues for legal and political philosophy. The latter are the focus of this conference, both in terms of democratic theory and from the angle of the theory of justice.

Potential questions include:

  • Are there reasons to think that courts can handle the long-term better than other institutions?
  • Can domestic climate litigation further global climate justice?
  • Under which conditions is climate litigation compatible with the separation of powers?
  • Can climate litigation be seen as one of the best forms of climate activism?
  • Should states be held accountable for insufficient climate action even if other states also fail to act?
  • What do cases involving suing private corporations for climate harms reveal of their social responsibility?
  • Should individuals also be the target of climate litigation?

Convenors: Pierre André (FNRS/Hoover Chair) and Axel Gosseries (FNRS/Hoover Chair)
If you intend to submit an abstract, please write to with “Climate Litigation Conference” in the message.


Abstracts (300 words) submission deadline

January 21

Notification of acceptance/rejection

January 31

Informal draft brainstorming session (online)

June 17

Final paper submission deadline

September 9

Conference (online)

September 22-23